Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Article: Java needs new ideas, not a vague slogan

I read the Opinion piece from the editors of SD Times issue 283 November 2012. I was taken aback that I felt that the Monday morning arm chair quarterback had taken over the SD Times. They completely missed JavaOne 2012, and failed to deliver quality journalism by missing the community aspects. Here is the letter I sent in rebuttal.
I have been attending the JavaOne conference for the last 8 years. This was a great JavaOne. It was great because there were no earth shattering announcements. The community has grown and developed. JDK8 was delayed for some legitimate technical reasons, and some less technical. A lot of work was done on OpenJDK to enhance its adoption, and usage. This was apparent to everyone, except the editorial staff. "Dull" the show was not. This year, a number of participants, and speakers talked about what a "good", or "great" show it was. In my sessions, the talks were packed, and in one case standing room in the back.
ARM was a big winner with a lot of talk about using Java embedded. Raspberry Pi got a lot of developers talking about it along with Java. 
The Java Users Group Sunday, NetBeans Day, and GlassFish Day were well attended by enthusiastic crowds. The Java Users Group Sunday was a community led event without any input from Oracle. Oracle graciously offered us the space and technical staff. I should know I was one of the many organizers. NetBeans Day was community driven as well. The big winners at JavaOne were the communities. 
Did the editorial staff notice that two user groups got Duke's Choice Awards: London Java Community, and jDuchess. Humanitarian efforts went noticed with the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) getting a Duke's Choice Award for Level I Registration. A number of open source projects also got the coveted Duke's Choice award including Agrosense. The judging was also community driven. 
The JCP is always a tough subject. It is also the easiest to score political points on by saying its broken. Try talking about the advancements in the JCP. The SE/EE Executive committees are merged. The process has worked on cleaning up a lot of the low hanging fruit, and now the big challenges are left. This is no secret. Wait, that's right... transparency has been put into place in the JCP so it really is no secret. 
I am not a fanboy of JavaFX, but Oracle has made significant investments in it. It provides a development platform that will work where Java runs. HTML5 is not the panacea that answers everything. I know that tech writers seem to make it seem that way. Thick clients are here to stay, and why not have "sexy" ones. 
"Make the future Java" may seem an odd choice of slogans, but from my perspective; the future is what I make it.


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